Daily news roundups

News roundup: Union’s home chances, Almeyda-oh-my, ‘Pinoe d’Or, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union are in the driver’s seat for a home playoff came, but Columbus’ remaining schedule is pretty dang favorable.

Some video from the Union U17’s at the Generation Adidas Cup. The clip unfortunately does not include the free kick Selmir Miscic scored that made Adam Cann, Ryan Rose, and I all pee our pants a little.

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem’s Matt Real and Michee Ngalina come in at No.’s 17 and 18 in USL’s 20 players under age 20 list.

Highlights from Steel’s 1-1 draw with Indy Eleven.

MLS

San Jose Earthquakes announce former Chivas Guadalajara manager Mathias Almeyda as their new manager.

More on the Almeyda coup, and how the hire shakes up the order of MLS.

XI things to know from Week 32.

Bobby Warshaw with a thought for all 23 teams after Week 32.

U.S. Soccer

Megan Rapinoe and Lindsay Horan, as well as NWSL Golden Boot winner, are finalists for the first-ever women’s Ballon d’Or.

Speaking of USWNT, the squad is rolling through World Cup qualifying. At least one of teams can hold it down.

Carli Lloyd says she’s not the same player as the last qualifying cycle.

The men’s U.S. squad has kicked off training in Tampa ahead of Thursday’s friendly versus Colombia.

Why the absence of Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and Christian Pulisic put a damper on the match.

17 Comments

  1. Warshaw claims McKenzie is the Union’s best Center-back right now. It’s an awesome feeling to have 3 great young CBs and to discuss which one is better, but I feel it’s Trusty, no? The Houston game aside, he’s been really consistent all year, and there are some games (a la SKC) where he was crucial to the outcome of the game.

    • By no means do I think Trusty is bad, but I feel McKenzie is a bit calmer and smoother on the ball and I don’t think he’s a s prone to get sucked in.

      • Especially the last few games, which is what I think Warshaw was talking about.

      • An argument could be made for any of the main three to me.
        .
        Trusty has crazy speed/size, is left footed (rare), and seems vocal and a leader.
        .
        McKenzie has speed, strength, and reads the game defensively well.
        .
        Elliot is probably the best of the three with the ball and reads the game well offensively (finds passes that take out defenders).
        .
        Not to mention after those 3 you have a former starter (Marquez) and an oft-injured 2nd overall 2016 draft pick (Yaro). By far the deepest position on the roster. Average age of the five? 22 years old.

      • After seeing Trusty and McKenzie I’ve cooled on Elliot. I don’t think he’s done anything wrong. I just think the other two are that much better. I also don’t think he’s as good a fit with the midfield trio we have. If the formation stayed tighter, with the back line playing higher up, I’d think he’d benefit more, but they don’t play like that. Too often they get stretched, and that leaves Elliot more exposed. In those type of situations McKenzie is more able to recover, and I think he reads Trusty’s play better. So, again, not really Elliot’s fault, just a function of play style and Mark’s experience with Trusty.

  2. Its a good feeling to have some good players and a bit of depth at CB. They are young and if not here long term at least they should bring some decent vsluey!

  3. John O'Donnell Jr says:

    Toronto FC
    Chicago Fire
    Colorado Rapids
    Los Angeles Galaxy or Real Salt Lake
    Orlando City SC
    Montreal Impact?

    All these teams spend more than the Union and won’t make the playoffs with the exception of Montreal if they can hold off D.C.United.

    New York Red Bulls
    Columbus Crew
    D.C. United
    Are teams that have a smaller payroll than the Union. Surprisingly Atlanta only spends 2.5 million more than the Union and 15 million less than Toronto. Although money helps a team become a playoff contender quickly as Atlanta and LAFC have shown, maybe coaching and the front office philosophy are important in MLS.

    • MLS is a pretty volatile league. And it’s tough to clarify why that is. Toronto is perhaps the most perplexing of the teams in your list. It’s essentially the same team as the one that won it all last season, with the same coach, etc., yet this season has been miserable for them. What happened? Was it a failure of motivation? A CCL hangover that’s now lasted more than 6 months? Don’t know.

      • It could be the things you mention. It could be teams finally adapting to TFC’s 3-5-2 system. And probably scores of other things.
        .
        I think John’s original point is interesting, and your addenda are too. I think the volatility you mention comes from the salary cap (and other bizarre salary rules). Team A can outspend Team B at the top of the roster, by wide margins even. But the further down the roster you get, the closer the salaries get and so front office and coaching, as John mentioned, become bigger factors. Just as a wild, off-the-cuff guess without looking at any data, at least.

    • Atlant also dropped a $15 mil transfer fee on Barco, so salary isn’t everything (as I’m sure you already know). But Atlanta really doesn’t pay a ton of salary to their 3 DPs, honestly it’s barely more than we pay for our 3.

    • Before this year I would have said where you spend your money was also important, but the Union seem to have blown that out of the water. You used to want your money in players up top at striker, wingers and a #10. But the Union are basically getting away with spending on a #10 and reasonably priced striker and wingers. There is the money spent on Accam, but one can argue it’s not even like he’s a factor. I’ve specifically argued against spending so much money in the middle of the squad, but this year it seems to have paid off for the Union.

      • To be fair the Union have paid big money to the 10, a winger (even if he’s not playing), and an 8. They also have a lot of money tied up in 3 strikers. So it does kinda fit what you are arguing for and I think that you’re totally accurate. We just are able to get away with it because we have so many homegrowns that don’t count against the cap.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Let’s face it, the Union’s season next year really depends on finding a way to get Dockal from the Chinese and Trump pretty much F****d that up for them.

    • You really think that? Is there a concrete business reason? Because if Dockal declines to move back there, they will not have much choice but to let him go.

    • Wait, what?

    • Dockal isn’t going back to China. The question is really just if he stays here. I think we have a really good chance because he seems to like it and he’s clearly thriving in our system.

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